North Carolina Newspapers

Wednesday, November 14, 2001
Black Box Reveals 'Rattling Noise'
Officials will have better
information about the cause
of the crash after examining
the flight data recorder.
The Associated Press
NEW YORK - The cockpit voice
recorder from American Flight 587 indi
cates the pilots struggled to control the
jetliner after a ratding was heard less
than two minutes into takeoff, investiga
tors reported Tuesday.
George Black Jr. of the National
Transportation Safety Board said inves
tigators do not yet know what caused the
“airframe rattling noise.”
The pilots also spoke of encountering
turbulence in the wake of a Japan
Airlines jumbo jet that took off ahead of
Flight 587, Black said. Wake turbulence
is believed to have contributed to other
deadly airline crashes.
But Black said it was too early to say
if there was any relationship between
Town Council Advances Hotel Project
By Maggie Kao
Staff Writer
The Chapel Hill Town Council unan
imously approved the construction of a
hotel on Franklin Street that is expected
to bring more than 30 jobs to the area.
At its Monday night meeting the
council approved a special-use permit
for construction of the five-story 51,100
square foot hotel, temporarily called the
Franklin Hotel.
The planned hotel will have 66
rooms and will be built in the place of
the abandoned Carolina Trailways bus
station on the corner of West Franklin
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the noises or the turbulence and
Monday’s crash. All 260 people aboard
were killed when the plane broke apart
and plunged into a Queens neighbor
hood after leaving nearby Kennedy
Airport. Five more people were missing
and feared dead on the ground.
Investigators say there is no evidence
of sabotage so far and that all signs point
to a catastrophic mechanical problem.
Black said nothing has been ruled out.
In total, the tape lasts less than 2 min
utes, 24 seconds, Black said at a news
The first portion of the flight to the
Dominican Republic appeared normal,
with the co-pilot at the controls. But 107
seconds after the plane started its takeoff
roll, a rattling is heard; 14 seconds later,
there is a second ratde, Black said.
Twenty-three seconds later - after
“several comments suggesting loss of
control” - the cockpit voice recording
ends, he said.
The plane’s other black box, the flight
data recorder, was recovered Tuesday
after a 24-hour hunt through the neigh
and Kenan streets.
“One criticism of hotels in general is
that they are mainly low-wage jobs,”
council member Bill Strom said at the
Monday night meeting.
The project was proposed by two
brothers from Greenville, Robert and
Richard Capps.
Capps said the Franklin Hotel will
employ about 30 to 35 staffers.
Design of the structure will be overseen
by Chapel Hill architect Josh Gurlitz. “The
town has given us great consideration,
we’ve gone through many boards and
commissions,” he said.
Gurlitz added that the project is slat
ed to begin in the spring and will take
about a year to complete.
Developer Charlie Johnson ofjohnson
Company in Catawba, said, “(Gurlitz) is a
great architect, he’s local, and we like to
keep business as local as possible.”
Johnson, who has been developing
hotels for 38 years, will oversee hotel fur
borhood. That instrument tracks nearly
200 functions, including instruments
and engine performance, and investiga
tors hope it will provide clues to what
The NTSB is trying to determine why
the vertical stabilizer - or tail fin -and
the attached rudder separated in flight
just before the crash.
The tail fin was fished out ofjamaica
Bay on Monday, a short distance from
Rockaway Beach; the rudder was found
nearby Tuesday. The rudder, which is
supported by the tail fin, controls the
plane’s turns from side to side.
Agency officials told reporters they
do not know what ripped the 25-foot-tall
tail fin off the fuselage cleanly, as if it
had been sliced by a knife. Black said a
helicopter tour of the bay showed no
other major airplane parts in the water.
The NTSB was also looking at whether
the plane’s two engines might have failed
after sucking birds inside, a phenomenon
that has caused severe damage to airliners
in the past. But the NTSB said an initial
inspection of the engines found no evi
nishings, fixtures, equipment and interior
design, as well as employee hiring.
At the meeting, council members
addressed requirements and guidelines
for construction of the hotel.
Some were concerned about whether
the hotel would comply with the town’s
structure height, traffic and parking ordi
Concerns about the structure’s com
pliance with height restrictions were the
most prevalent.
But Gurlitz said developers have
already taken height restrictions into
“We’re actually located in a valley, so
we probably will be lower than Top of
the Hill,” he said.
Gurlitz said the hotel will include an
underground parking deck to ease traf
fic and parking problems.
Council members also expressed
concerns about proper drainage at the
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We are pleased to announce the establishment of a special
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dence of such a collision and the engines
appeared to be largely intact.
The Airbus A3OO crashed into the
Rockaway Beach section of Queens,
another jolt of terror for a community
that lost scores of residents in the Sept.
11 attack on the World Trade Center. A
number of homes were destroyed.
Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said 262
bodies had been recovered, along with
dozens of body parts. Authorities were
working with family members to identi
fy remains through DNA.
The General Electric engines on the
Airbus A3OO model have drawn close
scrutiny since the spring of 2000, when
planes reported engine failures that sent
metal fragments flying.
In 1995, an Air Force AWACS sur
veillance plane in Alaska sucked at least
four geese into its engines during takeoff
and crashed in a forest, killing all 24
people aboard.
Large flocks of gulls, geese and other
birds abound around Kennedy Airport,
which is next to Jamaica Bay and a fed
eral wedands area.
Council members added that the
anticipated increase of pedestrian activ
ity in the hotel area might aid in the
approval of a previously rejected pro
posal for a midblock crosswalk.
Residents, who also had previously
voiced concerns about the height of the
building and traffic and parking prob
lems, said some of their fears had been
allayed. “I think we’ve already over
come that with the vote tonight," a
Chapel Hill resident said.
The Capps brothers, Gurlitz and
Johnson will make a collaborative deci
sion about which contractor will com
plete construction of the hotel.
Gurlitz added that the hotel will
include two meeting rooms, a catering
kitchen and valet parking.
“It is really a wonderful challenge to
work on as an architect.”
The City Editor can be reached
Woman Robbed While
Walking in Chapel Hill
A man robbed a woman at
gunpoint on Airport Road,
stealing goods worth more
than $2,200, reports state.
By Kristen Heflin
Staff Writer
An unknown man robbed a Chapel
Hill woman at gunpoint Monday night
as she walked south on Airport Road.
The victim, a 20-year-old Chapel Hill
resident, said a black male with
short hair and long sideburns, who was
wearing a black shirt and black jeans,
stole her purse and several items,
according to Chapel Hill Police
Spokeswomanjane Cousins.
Police reports indicate that the value
of the stolen goods totaled $2,227.
The woman was walking south on
Airport Road at 7:40 p.m. when the sus
pect approached her near Mount Bolus
Road, according to reports.
The victim told police officers that
the man said he was lost and needed
directions, Cousins said.
Campus Calendar
11 a.m. -Do your part and donate
blood when the American Red Cross
comes to campus until 4 p.m. in the
Great Hall. The event is sponsored by
Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical
noon - The Sonja H. Stone Black
Cultural Center will host an Around
the Circle on “Natural Beauty in a
Material World." In today’s materially
centered society, little emphasis is
placed on natural beauty. What consti
tutes “natural beauty”? What images
does it evoke? And what stigmas does it
carry? Stop by for this discussion.
6 p.m. - The Wesley Foundation
will host dinner and a discussion on
scripture at 214 Pittsboro St.
6 p.m. - An Interview Skills
Workshop will be held in 106 Gardner
Hall with Shawn Graham from
go to
■ Experts Discuss Bioterrorism
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Reports state that the man drew a sil
ver pistol and demanded money from
the victim.
The woman told police that she gave
the subject her leather purse, which
included her debit card, checkbook,
paycheck, sunglasses and an undis
closed amount of cash. The subject then
left the scene, according to reports.
Cousins said the victim also told
police that she noticed a dark-colored
vehicle pulled over on the side of the
road with its headlights turned off.
Cousins said the vehicle might have
been involved in the incident.
She also said the victim could not see
the driver of the vehicle, nor could she
see if the subject entered the vehicle.
The victim then walked to the Flying
Burrito Mexican Restaurant located at 746
Airport Road and called the police,
reports state. Cousins said the woman
refused help from crisis services at that
time. She also added that there are no
new leads but that police are still inves
tigating the case.
The City Editor can be reached
University Career Services. The event is
sponsored by the Education Excellence
Committee of the National
Association for the Advancement of
Colored People.
7 p.m. - Come join Student
Television for Premiere Night! See all
new shows, all night long. And there’s
free food. You also have the chance to
be on live TV and win prizes! Stop by
the STV studio (in the Union Annex)
until 1 a.m. STV is Channel 22 on cam
pus and Channel 4 off campus.
7:15 p.m. - Come out to the last gen
eral body Habitat for Humanity meet
ing of the semester in 111 Carroll Hall.
Find out what Habitat has been up to
and about the exciting Winter Break trip.
8 p.m. - The Carolina Production
Guild, UNC’s filmmaking group and
resource group, will meet in Swain Hall.
9:30 p.m. - Groove Phi Groove
Social Fellowship, Inc. will hold an
interest meeting in Union 208.
Chr Daily Car Urrl
RO. Box 3257. Chapel Hill, NC 27515
Katie Hunter, Editor, 962-4086
Adverbsing & Business, 962-1163
News. Features, Sports, 962-0245
© 2001 DTH Publishing Corp.
All rights reserved

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